Morning Movement Routine

Here’s my easy morning movement routine to get the body moving first thing.

The following exercises generally help with mobility, circulation, and lymphatic drainage and work the major muscle groups. They can be also done in the evening before bed to help release tension.

You don’t have to do all seven, you select the right exercises for you or ask your doctor or exercise health professional.

Watch the instructional video before starting the Super Seven Exercises!

1. Marching on the Spot:
Start low impact, gently marching on the spot. It’s up to you how long and fast you march and how high you raise your feet. This can also be done between each exercise to keep moving.
2. Breathe and Shake:
Stand with feet approximately hip width apart and knees slightly bent. Deep breath in and stretch your hands and arms up to the sky.As you exhale, shake out your hands above your head and then continue shaking them all the way down to your sides. Let your neck, shoulders,  and hips and knees gently move and shake and move as they want. Do at least three times. Wonderful for your circulation and lymphatic system.
3. Side Steps:
Start with small steps first to one side, then the other. As you warm up and get more fit you can make those steps bigger. When stronger and used to this activity, you may decide to bend your knees as you step out to the sides and use your arms.
4. Arm Swing:
Start with feet shoulder width apart, shoulders relaxed and arms loosely by your side. Tighten your core or stomach muscles. Slowly turn to one side and let your arms flop and follow, then slowly turn to the other side. Gradually increase your speed of turning from side to side, letting the arms move and stay loose.
5. Shoulder Rotations and Side Neck Turns:
Stand with feet apart. Stretch and lengthen through the spine (pull up through the back or crown of the head). Lift your shoulders gently up and then rotate backwards and bring shoulders down. Repeat and rotate backward up to ten times, then relax.

Relax, release and lower your shoulders, your head facing to the front. Slowly turn your head to one side towards the shoulder to your comfort level. Hold for three to ten seconds, and then slowly come back to centre. Repeat sequence with the other side.  Ideally do this sequence at least three times.
6. Air punches:
Standing balanced with feet apart, hands held up and closed into fists, punch upwards into the air above your head with one arm. Bring back to centre and then alternate with the other arm. You can also lower the arms and air punch directly to the front. May also help to relieve stress and over time extend the range of movement in the shoulders. 
7. Air Squats or Chair Sit:
Stand with your feet hip width apart, toes pointing slightly outward and tighten your stomach or core muscles. With a comfortably straight back and upright torso, your weight balanced on your heels, bend at the hips pushing your buttocks backwards and bending the knees like you are about to sit down. Lower to a comfortable and safe level for you, keeping your hips above knee level. Your knees over but not beyond your toes.

Return slowly to your starting position.If this is a new exercise for you, don’t go too deep too soon. Place a chair behind you and sit or squat down onto it. Aim to sit down and get up without using your arms, just the strength in your legs, hips and knees. Do squats slowly to your comfort level and build up the number gradually. If there is any discomfort, stop and seek professional guidance.
                           
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I would love to know how you go with the Morning Movement Routine. Let me know how it makes you feel!

Why We Need To Be Moving Regularly

We have all heard the saying, “move it or lose it” and it could not be more true!

Movement is a vital part of our overall health and wellness. As humans we are part of the animal kingdom and are made to move – in all directions, every day.

We were not designed to sit all day at a computer desk, be in a car driving around for hours or working a 12-hour shift in a mining truck etc. We are biped with long legs and arms for a reason – we are made to walk, run, jog, dance, stretch, climb and reach.

Our anatomy and physiology is such that if we don’t constantly move, our muscles and joints do physically become stiff and our fascia (connective tissue or membranes that surround line and separate our muscles, stabilises our bodies etc.) will actually start to fuse together and then limit our mobility.

Do you struggle with movement?

Seeing a structural therapist to correct your posture and body alignment should make movement, stretching and exercise easier for you.

If pain has kept you sedentary, then any movement is valuable. Even if you are chair bound there will still be parts of your body you can move. If you can’t move yourself, get someone to assist you.

Moving and stretching usually feels good, sometimes initially there is a little discomfort but never stretch into pain. Treat yourself with love and respect and most importantly don’t give up, your goal is to keep moving.

The benefits of movement

  • improves your cardiac health, gets your heart pumping and improves circulation
  • improves your breathing and lung function
  • strengthens your muscles and joints and helps with balance and preventing falls
  • improves flexibility, movement and will enable you to do everyday tasks more easily
  • helps maintain bone density
  • increased blood and lymphatic flow helps improve skin elasticity and healing
  • helps you feel better, relieves stress and you will feel a sense of accomplishment
  • you will look and feel younger with increased energy and stamina

It’s also important to protect yourself if you are getting help with your stretches and exercises – do not allow anyone to test or push you into pain. Numerous clients have come to clinic because they have over-stretched, hurt themselves in a too vigorous exercise routine or their pain has been inflamed in the process of being tested and diagnosed. You need to be honest with your health professionals and let them know when something is increasing your pain.

So the truth is that a movement program takes effort and commitment, however the benefits are immeasurable and the alternative is very scary. Getting started may not be easy but you just have to do it if you want to relieve your pain long term.

What do you do for movement? Do you need to be doing more?

If you need help to get your body moving better, please get in touch and book a Bowen Therapy session!